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Review: Raphael’s Return – C.J. Dragon

Raphael's Return - C.J. Dragon

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

It was a year of change and healing, heartbreak, and renewal.

On his way to reunite with his First Consort, Lord Teo receives unwelcome news from Chi’NoSa Prime.

He is ordered to return to perform a duty he hoped to be spared.

There is no recourse except obedience.

Raphael, changed from his time spent with the Chi’NoSa, discovers that his gifts set him apart from his peers, causing them to shun him.

As his family and a few friends are the only colonists to support him, Raphael spends much of his time alone, removing himself from the cacophony of other minds.

When the wait for his lord’s return is finally over, Raphael assumes his place on the Golden Falcon, hopeful they can live in harmony as they look for new worlds.

Returning to Chi’NoSa Prime was not part of the plan.

Neither was an unwanted duty.

A duty that would change them both, leading them to a Queen who would ask for their future, and may change the Chi’NoSa and humanity forever. What will they have to give in order to save both their species?

TW: Violence and adult sexual situations.

The Review

It’s been over a year since Lord Teo of the Chi’NoSa left Raphael at his home on the Mars Colony. Teo has been checking on his vassal planets and their progress, and updates to the Golden Falcon.

Raphael misses his lover Teo, but he’s been busy with his family, and working on the new residential dome. Most of all he, needs his family’s love. He finds it difficult being home, as he can read the inhabitants emotions, and is advised to raise his boundaries. Many of the others no longer trust him, and it hurts him deeply. He has also neglected seeing his faithful ship, Agatha.

Lord Teo finds that the Governors of each planet have been doing a good job. The minor changes that he has tried to instill, because of Raphael, are gradually coming along. Teo is contacted by the Chi’NoSa Prime to return to perform his duty to his Clan. Teo will have to mate with selected candidates from other Clans. How will Raphael feel about it?

Raphael finally goes to see Agatha – she will take him to the Golden Falcon when time comes.  Even though Agatha is unhappy with Raphael, she will always take care of her Archangel.  Raphael had made the choice to stay with Teo on Chi’NoSa, but Agatha still doesn’t trust Teo, after all the conflicts between the two of them.

Will Teo be able to do his duty? Will the Reigna Fali, Queen of Chi’NoSa, accept Raphael? And what of the proposal she wants to present to Grandmother? Will the positive changes that Raphael brought to Chi’NoSa be fully accepted? Will Mars Colony, Earth and Chi’NoSa find the path to understanding and compromise? And what of Raphael and Lord Teo – will their heartfelt love last forever?

Dragon’s impressive world building and the striking description of Teo’s home, the Golden Falcon and the brilliant colors make the setting easy to imagine. Her writing is superb, and I loved the romance here between Raphael and Teo, and all that they have gone through to get where they are.

Raphael’s Return is really Raphael’s story – about one individual who brought hope, love, positivity, kindness and a universal understanding to three different worlds and their inhabitants, to bring peace to all and their everyday lives.  

There are some great side characters here too: Dasa, the Chi’NoSa chief physician who really cared for Raphael and finally showed his courage to stand up to Lord Teo. Raphael’s family:  Grandmother Saoirse, Raphael’s mother Amber, Cousin Peggy, Uncle Padriac and Liam.  Chi’NoSa, Elan who changed his ways, and Toki who served Lord Teo and Raphael.  Two very special characters made this novel outstanding: Agatha, who loved and protected her brother Raphael, and The Lady, who always listened and gave strength to all.

I highly recommend reading the entire “Archangel” series, starting with Raphael’s Rescue.  This sci-fi romance series tells the dynamic tale of a relationship that was traumatic at the start, and blossomed into a powerful love and understanding between human and alien.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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